Summary

Eighteen-year-old James living in New York City with his older sister and divorced mother struggles to find a direction for his life.


It's time for eighteen-year-old James Sveck to begin his freshman year at Brown. Instead, he's surfing the real estate listings, searching for a sanctuary--a nice farmhouse in Kansas, perhaps. Although James lives in twenty-first-century Manhattan, he's more at home in the faraway worlds of Eric Rohmer or Anthony Trollope--or his favorite writer, the obscure and tragic Denton Welch. James's sense of dislocation is exacerbated by his willfully self-absorbed parents, a disdainful sister, his Teutonically cryptic shrink, and an increasingly vague, D-list celebrity grandmother. Compounding matters is James's growing infatuation with a handsome male colleague at the art gallery his mother owns, where James supposedly works at his summer job but where he actually plots his escape to the prairie.

In the tradition ofThe Catcher in the RyeandThe Perks of Being a Wallflower(Booklisthas hailed Cameron as "one of the best writers about middle-class youth since Salinger"), Peter Cameron paints an indelible portrait of a teenage hero holding out for a better grownup world.